Iron Man Strikes 3 and Not Out - Week 1 | Iron Man 3 | Despicable Me 2 | Man of Steel

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Iron Man Strikes 3 and Not Out - Week 1

Iron Man 3
Despicable Me 2
Man of Steel
Monsters University
Fast & Furious 6
Star Trek Into Darkness
World War Z
The Great Gatsby
The Wolverine
The Hangover Part III
Pacific Rim
The Lone Ranger
After Earth
The number three has never been good for comic book movies. To be fair, it hasn't been good for any number of movie franchises, and perhaps for similar reasons. The concept has been introduced and played out twice before. Is there really anything new and interesting to merit a third go-around? It's like, I get it, Debbie's doing Dallas, but wouldn't the fall leaves in Vermont be a nice backdrop sometime?

The first "third" super hero movie, Superman III, still lives in infamy as a misguided mess and it never got better from there. Robin was introduced in Batman Forever (and, seriously, Val Kilmer was Bruce Wayne?!). Peter went emo and Mary Jane sang in Spider-Man 3. Brett Ratner directed X-Men: The Last Stand and that's probably why it was the last stand.

Enter Iron Man 3, which already had the knock on it that Iron Man 2 wasn't all that great. Could reuniting Robert Downy Jr. with his cult hit Kiss Kiss Bang Bang writer/director Shane Black give Tony Stark the shot in the arm he needed? While even McG couldn't mess-up a franchise this strong at the box-office, Black certainly seems to have been the energy drink this series needed.

Iron Man 3 jet booted its way to the second biggest movie opening of all-time, $175.3 million, behind only last year's The Avengers. This phenomenal tally is almost $50 million more than Iron Man 2 debuted with in 2010. People are paying more "not" to see Mickey Rourke act? For shame.

Though no one expected Iron Man 3 to beat The Avenger's $206.4 million start last summer, kicking-off with $175.3 million is almost as shocking. That means the two biggest debuts in box-office history have fallen on last two first weekends in May. Talk about upping the ante for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which opens up the Summer Movie Pool this very weekend in 2014.

On a side note, Guy Pearce, who plays one of the baddies in Iron Man 3, is amazing. When he burst onto the scene with Russell Crowe in L.A. Confidential, many thought he and Russell would be battling for the top of the marquee for years to come. Russell may have been the only one who established an A-Level status, yet Guy's been making almost two or three films a year ever since. Half the time you don't even realize he's in the movie until mid-way through and the other half you think it can't be him because you just saw him in something else. Kudos to the man who basically officially changed his name to And Guy Pearce.

The Top Five If Today Was Labor Day:
#1. Iron Man 3 - $175.3 million
#2. n/a
#3. n/a
#4. n/a
#5. n/a


Extra Bonus Section

Since many poolers are often curious as to what my crystal ball predicted, here was my perfectly fallible picks for the 2013 Summer Movie Pool.

It's funny, for the summer I usually have seven or eight films that I believe have a chance and edit down from there. In the Holiday Pool it's the opposite problem. I find two or three "sure things" and have to talk myself into the rest of the list.

I found eight potentials this season after dismissing The Great Gatsby (too booky), After Earth (too earthy), World War Z (too zombie-y), The Lone Ranger (too I-got-fooled-by-The Prince of Persia-once, I'm-not-going-to-fall-for-this-y), Pacific Rim (too I-can-count-the-number-of-people-who-can-even-pronounce-Guillermo del Toro-on-one-hand-y), and anything else that seemed like it's ceiling was $150 million max. This was going to be a big summer and films that couldn't get close to at least $250 million need not apply.

It's that $250 million threshold that made me leave off these three films: The Hangover Part 3, Fast & Furious 6, and The Wolverine. I think all will cross $200 million easy but fade fast (& furious) after they open. They're the Mickey D's meal you need in a pinch, but no one's bragging to their friend about that amazing McDouble you had on the $1 menu.

So here's how I worked out my Top 5...

#1. Iron Man 3 - Even though I figured the numbers would be way down from The Avengers, the Iron Man brand (and star power of Robert Downey Jr.) has been the cornerstone for its entire success. Everyone who even remotely enjoyed The Avengers (and obviously there were a lot of those) would give this flick and chance and that should be more than enough to topple any other challenges. My final guesstimate was $433 million, which already seems a little low after it's gangbuster debut.

#2. Star Trek Into Darkness - I had no faith in Star Trek being a film non-Trekkers would give a chance in 2009 and it was a credit to J.J. Abrams and his creative crew to make a film that appealed to fans and non-fans alike. I felt this film should do even better than the first and because it was a known entity, I gave it the nod over my #3.

#3. Man of Steel - While I'm super nervous (no pun intended) about people caring about another Superman movie, I think everyone's ready for a reason to cheer for the big blue boy scout one more time. Please don't Green Lantern this, Warner Bros., or it may be a really, really long time before we ever see anther D.C. Comics movie.

#4. Despicable Me 2 & #5. Monsters University - I flipped these two films in my head a million different times. I still don't get why Pixar thinks kids are going to be excited about a film where they're favorite characters go to college, a concept they have no knowledge of. Still, it's Pixar, it's familiar characters, and it should do great. That said, Despicable Me is a more recent hit and still fresh in family audience's minds. The ticket sales should only be bigger this time around, and so I gave it the nod over Monsters University (and tried as best I could not to think that DM2 could easily end-up like Night At The Museum 2, a sequel that didn't have near the amount of interest the second time around). Suddenly, I feel the need to slam a paperweight into my skull.

by Matt Neuenburg on 05/06/2013

Movies Mentioned in this Post: After Earth, Despicable Me 2, Fast & Furious 6, Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Monsters University, Pacific Rim, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Great Gatsby, The Hangover Part III, The Lone Ranger, The Wolverine, World War Z
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